Changes to Sysprep switches in Vista

Sysprep, the familiar System Preparation tool used for preparing a Windows installation for deployment using disk imaging, is now built directly into Vista. Unfortunately its syntax has changed somewhat from previous versions, and if you’re going to deploy Vista you need to know the new command-line options for this tool. Here’s a quick list of old Sysprep options and what they are now on Vista:

-audit = /audit

-factory = /audit

-mini = /oobe

-reseal = /generalize

-nosidgen = use /generalize instead

-reboot = /reboot

-quit = /quit

-noreboot = /noreboot

-clean = this is now gone

-bmsd = this is gone as well

-activated = use /generalize if you used to use –activiated with SkipRearm

For more information on deploying Vista, see my series of articles on starting with


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

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